Sign in to learn, create, and do more with the product you love.
News & Updates
In my experience, the somewhat vague information you might find in a typical crystal datasheet doesn’t enable an engineer to be wholly confident that their design expectations can be met. On the other hand, “blindly” adopting what the crystal datasheet says usually results in adequate frequency stability. If you want to get inside and uncover what is going on, you need to start thinking about the crystal as a phase-shifting network.
An OutJob is simply a pre-configured set of outputs. Each output is configured with its own settings and its own output format, for example, output to a file or to a printer. OutJobs are very flexible – they can include as many or as few outputs as required and any number of OutJobs can be included in a project. The best approach is to use one OutJob to configure all outputs required for each specific type of output being generated from the project.
Antipads on vias and landing pads are a point of contention in modern PCB design, and the debate around the use of these elements in a multilayer PCB is framed as a binary choice. Like thermal reliefs, ground plane splits, and orthogonal routing, the debate around antipads on landing pads and vias is framed as an always/never choice. With today’s modern PCBs, it pays to understand the effects of antipads on signal integrity.
RF structures can be complicated to design and layout, particularly because many RF systems lead double lives as digital systems. Getting an analog signal out of a component and into a waveguide for high isolation routing is not so simple as placing a microstrip or stripline coming off your source component. Instead, you need to create a special microstrip to waveguide transition structure to ensure strong coupling into and out of your waveguide.
Layouts for complex electrical systems may need to make extensive use of copper pour to provide ground nets, power nets, shielding, and other copper structures for power and signal integrity. Backplanes, motherboards, RF products, and many other complex layouts will make use of copper pour and polygons that can’t be easily placed as custom components. The rules-driven design engine in Altium Designer® also ensures that any PCB polygon pour you place in your PCB layout will comply with clearance rules and will be checked against other electrical design rules.
Getting your PCB layout design done takes patience and precision. Complex footprint geometries, board shape, and dense component placement require accurate primitive positioning. Each stage of PCB design needs a different snapping configuration. Often your settings can be excellent for one stage and be unfavorable for another. Learn more about different snapping usage patterns and best practices of efficient snappings.
If you need to connect multiple boards into a larger system and provide interconnections between them, you’ll likely use a backplane to arrange these boards. Backplanes are advanced boards that borrow some elements from high speed design, mechanical design, high voltage/high current design, and even RF design. They carry their own set of standards that go beyond the reliability requirements in IPC.
The upcoming Gen6 version of PCIe is pushing the limits of signal integrity for many computer systems designers. As with any high-speed signaling standard, signal integrity is a major design consideration, which requires the right set of design and analysis techniques. Rather than digging deep to find PCIe 5.0 signal integrity requirements from PCI-SIG, we’ve compiled the important points for today’s PCB layout engineers. Layout engineers should pay attention here as these design requirements will become more stringent in later PCIe generations.
An essential aspect of project management is time management, especially when your design team is working remotely. Your time management strategy is team-based and individual, but time can easily get spent on important tasks when working as part of a team. So how can you streamline important collaboration tasks for your design team to increase productivity?